Location: Microfilm E 99 .I7 I68
Scope: This collection includes documents of the Iroquois Indians, such as minutes of treaty conferences, council meetings, and agreements resulting from formal meetings, from the 1600s to the 1920s. The records document the diplomatic history of the Iroquois Confederacy and provide information on the role the Iroquois played in American political history in the pre-Revolution era.
"The Iroquois League was a great
military and political power in North America during the seventeenth and
eighteenth centuries. Its importance was recognized by contemporary
statesmen of competing European empires and colonies, who vied for each other to
secure Iroquois friendship and alliance. After 1700, the Iroquois policy
of neutrality maintained a balance of power between the empires that lasted
until the Seven Years War, and the Iroquois nations were wooed by Britain and
the United States during the War of the American Revolution."
"Because the League of the Iroquois and its constituent Six Nations negotiated diplomatically with agents of empires, provinces, and nation-states, as well as with other Indian nations, Iroquois treaty documents came to rest in the Netherlands, France, Great Britain, Canada and the United States.. . .Now these many scattered collections have been culled to create the first authentic archive of an indigenous tribal people. It is a body of texts exceedingly important to genuinely reconstituting the history of the United States and its predecessor colonies and native people." From the Introduction of the printed guide to the collection.
How to Search the Collection: This collection is contained on 50 reels of microfilm and is accompanied by an extensive 718 page printed guide. The guide includes information about the texts and how they are presented (pp vii-viii), sources and locations of manuscripts (pp xi-xii), a bibliography of printed material which includes periodicals, books, collections of historical societies, U.S. presidents' letters and papers and congressional documents (pp xiii-xviii), sources of wampum belts (p. xix), the calendar of documents (pp1-418) and an index (pp 421-718).
How documents are presented: Each entry on the microfilm consists of a headnote with the document's date, a brief description, and the source, followed by the document itself. In a few cases a translation or annotation follows the document.
Sample entries from the Calendar of Documents:
1755 15-20 Jan
Extract of minutes of a treaty held in Philadelphia between Mohawks and Penn.
Gov. Morris. HISTORICAL SOCIETY OF PENNSYLVANIA,
PHILADELPHIA, PA., LOGAN PAPERS, VOL. 11.
1884 5 Mar
Report of United States Congressional Committee on Indian Affairs
about New York Indian lands in Kansas under treaty of 1838.
CONGRESSIONAL SERIES SET, VOL 2160, HR2001, 47-2.
The index, while not an exhaustive inventory of the documents, is an excellent tool to use in conjunction with the Calendar of Documents.
Guides: Iroquois Indians: A Documentary History of the Diplomacy of the Six Nations and Their League, Guide to the Microfilm Collection. Woodbridge, CT.: Research Publications, 1985 (Microfilm E 99 .I7 I 68 Guide)
For more information about this subject in our Library Catalog, check out
Time Period: 17th, 18th, 19th and 20th centuries
Subject keywords: Native American Studies